Atlanta Falcons Bring Back Linebacker Mike Peterson

Today the Atlanta Falcons helped to solve their thin situation at linebacker by announcing that they have signed veteran linebacker Mike Peterson.

Peterson last played for Atlanta in 2011 when he made five starts, and played in 15 games.  He totaled 27 tackles, and had one interception with two passes defensed.

Adding a 13-year veteran to the linebacking corps will go a long way in replacing the injured Lofa Tatupu, who tore a pectoral muscle in a weight room workout over the weekend.  It’s not known the severity of Tatupu’s injury, or when he will be able to return.  Peterson will also provided valuable experience and leadership for promising young linebackers Akeem Dent and Sean Weatherspoon.

To add to the hobbled linebackers list, starter Stephen Nicholas did not take the field in OTAs or minicamp because of a foot injury. Nicholas had his 2011 season cut short due to ongoing injuries.

The Falcons also released linebacker Matt Hansen on Friday, which added to the shortage at the linebacker position. The team listed Hansen’s release as a non-football injury, although Hansen announced on Twitter in June that he suffered a ruptured patellar tendon and would miss at least the next four months after undergoing surgery.

With the release of Hanson, the Falcons had 88 roster spots filled of the available 90.  Peterson will fill the roster spot vacated by Hansen.

In his 13-year NFL career, Peterson has totaled 1,611 tackles (953 solo), 21.5 sacks, 19 interceptions,  nine forced fumbles and nine fumble recoveries


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